Healthy City Week Bristol preparing for programme launch
1st September 2015
Healthy City Week Bristol: Wellbeing that doesn’t cost the earth
Bristol’s inaugural Healthy City Week (10 – 18 October 2015) is promising to be a thought-provoking event, aimed to inspire citizens of Bristol to achieve healthier lifestyles as part of a more sustainable future city. With talks, workshops, activities and exhibitions that explore the links between health and sustainability, Healthy City Week will promote “wellbeing that doesn’t cost the earth”.
The idea for a ‘Healthy City Week’ emerged from the Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Health and Wellbeing Group, as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the innovative, grassroots health and wellbeing projects in the city and demonstrate why Bristol is a leader in creating healthy & happy cities. “We are delighted to be working with members and our partners in the health sector to deliver this initiative and support a continued cross-sectoral conversation between individuals and organisations who share a vision for achieving wellbeing in a sustainable ‘low carbon’ city” says Vicki Woolley, BGCP Operations Manager.
Healthy City Week Programme
The week will showcase current sustainability and healthcare initiatives by raising awareness of the links between our personal health and the health of our environment. When people make sustainable lifestyle choices they benefit the environment and also their own physical and mental health. A Bristol Health Partners health integration team, SHINE (Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments) will further develop an evidence-based ‘checklist’ during Healthy City Week which can be used by local people, policy makers and planners to ensure that the infrastructure and public realm of different neighbourhoods have the ‘basic ingredients’ to promote and sustain physical and mental health.
Dr Trevor Thompson from University of Bristol’s School of Social and Community Medicine, also a local GP and the Chair of the Partnership’s Health and Wellbeing Group, says ’‘We wanted to get people together for conversations that matter around health, creating a forum for the statutory, voluntary and private sectors to meet and respond to challenges of the day. Healthcare is a major industry – responsible for 3% of the UK’s entire carbon footprint and creating lots of complex waste from pharmaceuticals. As a city we should be aware of these hidden costs and ask difficult questions about how we want our system to operate.”
The Healthy City Week 2015 programme will cover a variety of topics and themes that fall under the health and wellbeing agenda. It’s an exciting week that has contributors from all health sectors from the mainstream to complementary practitioners.
Whether it is joining a gentle bike ride and discovering more about your natural surroundings with TravelWest and Sustrans; walking the Big Green Bristol ‘Virtual’ Sponsored Walk and experiencing ‘netwalking’; discussing the relationship between nature and public health, learning the ‘Kitchen on Prescription’ programme with the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine that launches as part of the week; there will be something for everyone.
Healthy City Week raising awareness of the links between our environment, sustainability, health and wellbeing
University Hospitals Bristol’s Big Green Scheme event during Healthy City Week will invite local organisations to share their work to engage and enthuse patients, staff and visitors about being green, whilst sharing what UHBT and healthcare partners are doing to reduce our environmental impact, and raise awareness on the links between our environment, sustainability, health and wellbeing.
“As one of the biggest employers in Bristol, we have a significant environmental impact on our city and so we have a duty to show leadership,” says Sam Willitts, Energy and Sustainability manager at University Hospitals Bristol and Vice Chair of the Partnership’s Health and Wellbeing Group. “From a hospital point of view sustainability is best achieved through keeping people healthy and out of hospital. The health system is struggling, to make it sustainable requires reaching out to our communities for solutions.”
Other events will include various taster sessions and workshops at Bristol Health Hub and Bristol 2015 Lab Space throughout the week, ‘Transforming the experience of cancer’ at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, ‘Rake and Bake’ at St Werburghs Community Centre, NHS Health Checks and social prescription promotions at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and Knowle West Health Park, ‘Keep Warm in Easton’ with Centre For Sustainable Energy, ‘Growing Support’ with community gardening clubs, a Go Green Happy and Healthy Business Breakfast, and a public talk looking at what makes an official ‘WHO Healthy City’ according to the World Health Organisation.
Trevor sums it up “There are so many strands to healthcare in this city. Wouldn’t it be great if hospital bosses, NHS clinicians, campaigners, complementary medicine practitioners, patients of all ages and backgrounds have somewhere to debate the health issues of the day. Well they have – its Healthy City Week!”
The open call out for programme contributions closed earlier, but there will be many opportunities to participate and attend events during Healthy City Week in it’s first year.
Healthy City Week is a brand new initiative delivered by Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC and Love The Future CIC, formed in collaboration with members of the BGCP Health and Wellbeing Group, University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol and sponsored by Bristol Health Partners